September 21st marks the date. That's when Mississippi's budget process starts for the next fiscal year. The budget was built on projections and estimates. Senator Terry C. Burton tells us the planning doesn't look so great.
"Things are not looking real good. The governor just recently had to make cuts of five pecent to state agencies including educatoin which goes all the way to the university level," explained Senator Burton.
Already, the budget is 85 million below last year's collection for the first two months of the year. As Senator Burton put it, there isn't much to work with.
"I don't expect we'll see an 800 million dollar short fall. But I do expect we will see significant decreases in revenue as opposed to what we had to work with last year."
The allocation of resources had to be reevaluated because of the major shortfall. Since many agencies such as the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, and the Highway Patrol to name a few, were already underfunded, the education budget had to take a slashing.
"There are so many other things other than education that have been reduced and you just can't go and say go back in there and cut them some more," said Senator Burton.
The 178 million dollars of the Rainy Day fund was also an option considered. But because some of that money was already used for this fiscal year and more was reserved for 2011 and 2012, Mississippi was forced to make cuts in important areas, like education.
"I don't like to see any reduction to the funding of education but we are at a point where that's the only place there was to go to get the money we need to balance this budget," Senator Burton said.